Lung Health on the Job
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a serious lung disease that makes it hard to breathe and gets worse as time goes on. The work you do can affect the health of your lungs.
How can work affect COPD risk? Almost 15 percent of the time, COPD comes from exposure to certain air pollutants at work. Exposure to pollutants like these over time can cause COPD: Dusts (coal, silica, asbestos, cotton, wood, grains). Fumes (metal/welding, diesel/engine, asphalt). Smoke and other chemical gases.
Some jobs have a higher risk of COPD than others: Housekeeping, mining, manufacturing, vehicle repair, farmwork. How can COPD affect work? 1 out of 4 people with COPD say they're unable to work. At least 1 out of 3 say they're limited in what they can do.
Healthy lungs get the job done. You can: Talk to your employer about ways to limit your exposures. Talk to your healthcare provider about how to keep your lungs healthy. Learn more about COPD and take action for your health.